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Exceeding Capacitor Voltage Ratings

June 15th Fact-of-the-Day

Many capacitors can be operated at voltages significantly above their maximum DC voltage ratings without breakdown, but that practice is not recommended, because it tends to shorten capacitor life and can significantly alter capacitor leakage current and other electrical characteristics. Electrolytic capacitors are subject to especially-rapid deterioration if they used above their maximum DC voltage ratings. The deterioration is even more rapid if they are used above rated voltage at high temperature. The two most important factors affecting the useful life of capacitors in most applications are voltage and temperature. Keep capacitor voltage and temperature within manufacturer ratings to have the best chance of long, trouble-free operation. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.

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